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Can I take eggs from incubator and put them under a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Cherry Bird, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. Cherry Bird

    Cherry Bird In the Brooder

    Jul 25, 2011
    Olympia, WA
    I've got eggs in an incubator on day 10. I've also got a hen that is acting broody. Can I take the eggs from the incubator and put them under the hen?

    My concern is that maybe hens have some way of knowing that eggs are supposed to hatch in 21 days and maybe she won't be ready when these hatch after only 11 days. Or maybe she'll treat them like 2 day old eggs when they are in fact 12 day old eggs and it will be bad for the chicks.

    Also, I've got 13 in the 'bator. I would only put 7 or so under the hen but AFTER the other 6 hatch, I wonder if it would be okay to put ALL the chicks with the hen so they are all together. Would she reject the ones that didn't hatch under her? And if it is okay to put them all together, WHEN should I do it?

    Your help is much appreciated.

  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I think that's how I'd do it - just give her half the eggs. I don't know if she'd accept the others or not. Maybe if you slip them in at night she might. That's what I did a couple of years ago when I had a broody who's eggs never hatched - bought some chicks at the local farm supply store, and put them in with her at night. But I put the same number of chicks as she had eggs. She did great with them.
  3. roomummy

    roomummy Hatching

    Apr 15, 2012
    Cherry Bird, How did you get on with putting eggs from the bator under your broody? I have the same situation. I have eggs in a bator after none of my gals seemed to be broody at the time of setting the eggs but now of cause I have 8 eggs incubating nicely and a broody hen with nothing to sit on. I would like to give her the partly incubated eggs but dont want to risk loosing my chicks. The broody hen is a good proven Silkie mother (will sit on almost anything). Wondered how your transfer went? Regards, roomummy [​IMG]
  4. sparrker

    sparrker Songster

    Aug 12, 2011
    Baldwinsville, NY
    I just put some ceramic eggs under my broodies, for 21 days, and tonight I will put 5 just hatched chicks under her.
  5. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Songster

    Jul 17, 2012
    Southern Minnesota
    As far as the transferr, I wouldn't worry, I have never had a broody hen refuse eggs, I roll them in front of her, and she gently pushes them underneath of her. As as far as combining chicks, I have read that if they are a day old, they can be added at night and usually the mother will accept them in the morning, thoguh I have never tried this myself because I usually take them and raise them in a brooder.
  6. Chica Lady

    Chica Lady Songster

    Mar 31, 2012
    Taylors, SC
    I have a game hen that hatched one egg. After about a week or so, I was given 2 chicks that were 1 or 2 weeks old. I put them under her at night, and she accepted them as her own.

    ****Edit**** I put the 2 new chicks under her with her original chick. .....and then there were 3.....
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  7. Tolroy1

    Tolroy1 Hatching

    Apr 1, 2010
    Hi. I have 6 eggs in an incubator and 5 eggs under a broody hen here in Cornwall, England. All the eggs are due to hatch on the same day. At first I wasn't sure if she'd sit on her eggs for the full 21 days which is why I decided to have some in the incubator - but she's really sitting tight. Now I'd like to give her all the eggs to hatch - but should I wait till they hatch and give her the chicks then? Has anyone had any experience of this?! Hope someone out there can advise me!

  8. kiz1959

    kiz1959 In the Brooder

    Sep 2, 2012
    I gave my broody ex bat some eggs which she nutured and cared for as her own, until the morning after the first two hatched. As soon as she saw the chicks she started pecking at them really hard. So I took them away and put them under a light in doors. Six weeks on their doing fine.
    So just be aware and ready in case your broody doesn't except the chicks. I wonder if it was because the first chicks were black. Apparently it is rare although not unknown for a hen to reject her chicks.
  9. BrendaJ

    BrendaJ Songster

    Sep 1, 2012
    I put newly hatched chicks ( hrs old ) under my broody hen. She took to them right away. I hear of it not working out for some people but i have had no problems. Good luck.
  10. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Songster

    Oct 13, 2008
    I say go for it. Make sure she's definitely broody, then put the eggs in the nest, and set her right in front of it and watch the magic happen.
    Why would you only put seven under her, as opposed to all of them? If you've got the broody, and only 13 eggs, why use the incubator at all any more? All other things being equal, hens work much better, and will brood the chicks for you without a heat lamp and whatnot. And 13 eggs is perfectly manageable for a hen--unless maybe she is a tiny bantam and the eggs are very large, but even so it might be doable. And easier than introducing extra chicks later, although that COULD work, particularly if you did it at night in the dark. Not clear on your reasoning here...

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